Today’s passage is a rich one! It teaches us some significant truth and challenges us to our core.
As you read these verses you see a four-step process away from God – a process that always ends in destruction.
STEP ONE: Suppress (v.18-20)
This process begins when we begin to suppress the truth we know – truth about God – truth about ourselves – truth about sin. This produces wickedness in us. God has made truth obvious to all mankind – even those who don’t yet know Jesus are without excuse… even the man on the island knows innately there is a God.
STEP TWO: Deny (v.21-23)
The next step is an easy progression away from God – we begin to Deny. They know there is a God (v.20) – but they wouldn’t worship Him as God – or even give Him thanks (v.21) – they begin to think up foolish ideas of what God is like – they create their own God! They claim to be wise – but instead they worship themselves and their own made-up God rather than the true God. This hits close to home! How do we do this? How do we worship our version of God – instead of God as He really is? How do we dress Him up in our made-up clothes? By doing so… we DENY Him.
STEP THREE: Abandon (v.24-27)
The next step is an obvious one – after we SUPPRESS truth and begin in subtle ways to DENY God – we ABANDON Him. This is where things go south in a hurry! Sin is produced and we do unmentionable things – things we NEVER thought we were capable of. But because sin is fun and addictive – we continue in them moving further and further from God. One time – becomes two – becomes ten – becomes…
STEP FOUR: Reap (v.28-32)
And that brings us to the horrible part of the process – the reaping. For many of us, that’s when we really see this process in others – but it’s been active for a while. God gives us many opportunities to pull out before this.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
By now sin has a real bite and verses 29-31 starts to be your song…
This sounds a lot like what James describes as the process Temptation takes in James 1:13-15:
THINK a THOUGHT -> COMMIT the SIN -> SIN becomes a HABIT -> ENDS in DESTRUCTION
Time for evaluation…
Where are you in the process? Are you going to let sin have your heart or are you willing to repent right where you are and give your heart back to God? If you do – get accountability, because you can’t do it alone. Count on my prayers and let me know how I can help.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor